ISLAMABAD: A Foreign Office spokesman today [June 20] announced that Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will pay a visit to Bangladesh from June 27 to June 29. The invitation for the visit, he said, was extended by “Banglabandhu” Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, last February when the two leaders met at the Islamic Summit Conference in Lahore.

He said Mr Bhutto will be accompanied by a large and high-level delegation comprising parliamentarians, officials and journalists. The names of the members of his delegation were, however, still being finalised. Mr Bhutto and his party will fly in a PIA airliner over India. The Indian Government has already granted permission, the spokesman told newsmen. …

He said there was no agenda for talks. Usually, he said, the two Prime Ministers … would decide what they wished to discuss. … The spokesman said though the visit was essentially of a goodwill nature, it was “of course an important milestone on [the] road to reconciliation and fraternal relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh”. … He said he did not know if the two Prime Ministers will also discuss establishment of diplomatic relations. — Islamabad Bureau

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2024

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